Signings set to make debuts at St Andrew’sMany of Steve Clarke’s first-team summer signings could make their Royals debuts against Birmingham City when the Sky Bet Championship season kicks off at St Andrew’s on Saturday.
However not all of them can start – Jonathan Bond and Ali Al-Habsi will both be vying for selection between the sticks. Stephen Quinn and Orlando Sa are eligible for selection, while Paul McShane will aim to play a part after getting his first pre-season run-out against Espanyol last Saturday. Subject to the necessary formalities being completed, Wednesday’s loan arrival Andrew Taylor could also be included in the squad.
Winger Garath McCleary’s calf injury sustained at the Gold Cup will keep him out of the opening game, while striker Pavel Pogrebnyak will also miss out after picking up a knock against Espanyol. Jake Cooper and Niall Keown are both missing through injury, as is Jack Stacey who recently returned to non-contact training.
Meanwhile Hal Robson-Kanu could potentially be involved after returning to training this week, while a knock to youngster Tariqe Fosu makes his inclusion doubtful.
Home boss Gary Rowett will also be able to select new arrivals for the first time in competitive action this weekend.
Former Manchester United goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak is expected to start in goal, and midfielders Maikel Kieftenbeld and Jacques Maghoma will be pushing for a starting berth after joining in the transfer window. Arsenal loanee Jon Toral will also be pushing for involvement, after being used regularly during his temporary spell with Brentford last season.